What are the Benefits of Owning a Cat?


Benefits of Owning a Cat


I currently have four cats so I know a thing or two about these furry little creatures. So, what are the benefits of owning a cat? Or, in my case, owning four cats? Let’s find out now. 

Scientific studies have shown that simply watching online cat videos is enough to create positive emotions and boost our energy levels. So, of course, it should not come as a surprise to you that when you actually own a cat, there are many benefits. Here are a few general benefits of cat ownership together with a number of health benefits of owning a cat.



Doesn’t Take Much Effort to Care for a Cat

Ever owned a dog? It can be hard work. The everyday walks (even when it’s raining or snowing), the training, the grooming, the feeding – dogs tend to have a voracious appetite.

With a cat, sure, there’s grooming to be done, and there’s also feeding. Truth be told that my own cats tend to eat a lot, but in comparison to my dog – a greyhound, it’s of minimal cost to feed my cats.

Prior to residing in my current house, I was renting a very small place. My cats were happy to live and play there. Not sure a dog would feel quite the same way, though that depends on the size and nature of the dog. 


Benefits of Owning a Cat – Companionship

For some people, the companionship they have with their cat is the most important aspect of cat ownership. With a cat, you are not alone. Cats provide us with tranquil support as they sit on your lap or by your side. Cats offer a welcome meow to greet us when we come home. Cats enthusiastically rub against our legs when it’s time to be fed. Cats are enjoyable!

Further to this, if you were to lose a loved one, it’s likely to be a very emotionally painful experience. One of the best ways for humans to cope with such a loss is through pet ownership, namely a cat or a dog, or both a cat and a dog.

Studies have shown, and many pet owners already know, that cats can help us humans to overcome a loss far more quickly than otherwise. Cats, in fact, can offer us a form of social support when we are experiencing tough times. 

People that are struggling through loss of a loved one or struggling with some other hardship often prefer to talk to their pets than to other people. Why? It can be much easier to talk to a cat or a dog since there’s little to no response and thus no judgment is cast upon us.


Fairly Independent

Independent, yes. But I do wish my own cats would toilet outdoors much more than they do now.

Unlike most dogs, cats have the capacity for entertaining themselves. They do not require persistent attention, although they do like occasional petting and they do like to hear words of affection. 

Additionally, if you do tend to work long hours away from home, or you have a busy social life, cats easily adapt to this kind of lifestyle. Whether you’re at home or away, cats cope very well, providing they have enough food and water. A dog, on the other hand, needs fairly regular attention. Some dogs hate being left shut in at home for long hours, and they show their dissatisfaction by barking, whining, and even clawing at and chewing your belongings – furniture, carpeting, doors, shoes, you name it. My greyhound was not at all a fan of being left alone for lengthy periods of time. And when it occasionally did occur, he’d be guilty of doing all of the above, much to the annoyance of my neighbors (and me)!


Cats Do Not Contribute to Plastic Waste (in the same way as dogs)

As a cat owner, it’s likely that you avoid plastic waste in the form of pick-up poopie bags. You know, the sort of bags that responsible dog owners use when picking up after their pooch. 

Most dog poop pick-up bags are made from petroleum-based plastic. And if you are a responsible dog owner, you’ll work your way through a minimum of 700 of these petroleum-based plastic bags on a yearly basis. That’s assuming your dog takes care of its toileting needs twice each day.

Now, what about the biodegradable poopie pick-up bags? Are they a good alternative option? Apparently, these bags typically are not what they are advertised as being. Many of them consist of petroleum-based plastic.


Relatively Peaceful Animals

Not all of the time. They do tend to knock stuff over at home when they are exploring. Plus, they do tend to get involved in the occasional fight, which most certainly is not a peaceful affair. 

Other than this, though, cats are quiet – ideal if you work from home, which I do. Ideal if you have a daytime-napping baby.


Pet Owners Have Healthier Hearts

Over a 10-year period, a study found that cat owners were less likely (30% less likely) to die of a stroke or heart attack than their non-cat-owning counterparts. It could be because the act of stroking a cat does, in fact, help to lower stress. Or, it may be because, in general, cat owners tend to be more relaxed individuals and thus experience lower stress levels.


Benefits of Owning a Cat – Pest-Free Home

While my own cats have never even come across a mouse (who knows, they may run from it), they do like to ‘try’ to catch flies and mosquitoes. And they do love to catch and play with cockroaches.


Improved Sleep

A number of polls and studies carried out in the U.K. found that people, in particular women, have a preference for sleeping with their cats as opposed to sleeping with their partners. Many people said that they not only prefer to sleep with their cats, they also sleep better. 


Owning a Cat Can Save Your Life

Cats may well have a reputation for being independent and aloof animals. They don’t seem to care much about humans, even their owners, which is quite unlike dogs. However, cats have, in fact, been responsible for saving many people’s lives. 

In Bournemouth, England, a cat warned its owner that they were about to have an epileptic fit. In Cornwall, England, when an 83-year-old fell into a ravine, her cat helped in the rescue by attracting the attention of bystanders with his meowing. In Montana, a cat woke its owners when a gas pipe in their home began to leak. The couple was told by firefighters that if it were not for the cat the leaking pipe could easily have caused a devastating explosion. 




Caring for Your Cat

Cats are relatively independent animals, but if you do own one or more than one, it’s still a fairly large commitment to make. So, other than a devoted owner, what else do cats require to remain healthy and happy?


A Regularly Refreshed Litter Box

For the most part, cats tend to stay indoors and that means they require a litter box. If you own a single cat then perhaps the litter box will only need to be cleaned out once every couple of days. If you own four cats as I do, then you’re looking at a very regular cat litter box cleaning regime. 

Any decent cat litter will help in reducing the otherwise pungent aroma that cats leave behind.

As a side note, I don’t now tend to utilize cat litter, though I still leave the empty litter box out and it’s used frequently. It’s hard work when you reside in a small upstairs apartment and you have to dispose of clogged, heavy cat litter every day. Instead, now that I have moved into a ground-floor, far more spacious abode that’s surrounded by grassland and wooded areas, my aim is to encourage my kitties to venture outdoors on a frequent basis. And my desire is that they will ‘take care of business’ when they are outside. Do they always? Nope. Oftentimes, they’ll come back inside for a bowel movement, needless to say, much to my frustration! But I can and will continue to dream. “Children, please, please, please learn to take care of your needs when you’re outside.”



Cats, in general, don’t require the same level of grooming as dogs. Cats do a whole lot of self-grooming. Nevertheless, particularly when molting – shedding hair – they do still need occasional brushing which can be done once each week.


A Pole to Scratch

Unless you’re fortunate like me and your cats have plenty of trees nearby to scratch at, you’ll want to invest in a scratch pole. Either buy one from your local pet store or purchase online from someplace like Amazon or a specialist online pet store. 

With no nearby trees and no scratch pole, your cat will claw at your furniture, at the drapes, and/or at anything that they feel like scratching at. So, to avoid having your furniture ripped to shreds and your drapes being riddled with claw holes, do be sure to get yourself a cat-scratching pole. 


A Diet That’s Well-Balanced

Some people ask the advice of their local vet about the ideal diet for their cat. You can do that or you can find plenty of solid information online about recommended cat food and quantities.

One mistake I made with my cats is that, because I’m residing in the Philippines, fresh fish is ever so easy to come by and not particularly expensive. I had a tendency to feed my feline friends with fish almost every other meal. That was until one of my kitties – the youngest one – started to shed a whole lot more hair than normally he would – to the point he was developing bald spots. 

I did a bit of online research about cat diets and found that although fresh (cooked) fish is very healthy for cats since it’s rich in oils, vitamins, and minerals, it should not be the main form of nutrition for cats because it does not make for a rounded diet. So, occasional fishy treats are good, but best to avoid feeding your cat fish too often.

It should also be noted that you should keep your cat’s feeding and water bowl at some distance from the litter box. If otherwise, if the litter box is close by, it can be the cause of contamination.


An Environment That’s Safe

Likely your cat is small, he or she is delicate, too. While cats do tend to prefer to live most of their life indoors (most of the time fast asleep), they also love to get outside for various reasons. This can be a cause for some obvious concerns.

The outdoors is not always a friendly place for cats. There are other, aggressive cats (male cat meets unknown male cat = potentially vicious fight!). Think dogs. Here in the Philippines, there are very many wild dogs living on the streets. These dogs gather together in packs. But even a solitary dog can be a danger to a cat. Think vehicles. If you live far from any roads then that’s all the better. Otherwise, roads can pose a real danger to cats.

If you are able, try to monitor the whereabouts of your cat. Easy to say, not always easy to do, I know. Place an ID tag on your cat’s collar. If you have your cat microchipped, it will provide you with further reassurance since vets and pet shelters will be able to identify you as owner should your cat wander off.


So, there we have it, the benefits of owning a cat together with a few pointers about cat care. If you are thinking about getting a cat, or perhaps you’re doing an essay about the benefits of cat ownership, either way, I wish you the best of fortune!



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